Skills shortages have always been a fact of life for CIOs. Today, however, the labour market is tighter than ever, and CIOs face multiple challenges.\n\nYet a recent survey by Pluralsight suggests that IT employers could do more to retain staff by upskilling them so that they can take on bigger and better roles.\n\nHere\u2019s how the situation looks from the perspective of the IT professionals surveyed. Four out of 10 (37%) IT professionals are not very confident that their tech skills are being used to their fullest potential. Three out of 10 (29%) don\u2019t feel confident that their current job provides opportunities for growth. IT professionals also say they encounter barriers to upskilling:\n\nIf this all sounds somewhat negative, let\u2019s look at the potential upside of upskilling existing employees:\n\nUpskilling existing employees is a powerful response to tight labour market conditions. Among the large enterprises focusing on home-grown talent is BT, which has invested heavily in helping its IT staff develop skills fit for the cloud and agile development.\n\nNotably, BT\u2019s upskilling modules are concise, which helps to get around objections based on employees being \u201ctoo busy\u201d. As Deepak Channa, BT\u2019s erstwhile director for QA and Test at BT, puts it: \u201cThe moment people see that a development session is an hour, they switch off. We wanted a learning solution that could be used in a 10-minute break.\u201d\n\nOne of the more intriguing conclusions in Pluralsight\u2019s research is that 52% of IT professionals consider leaving their job at least once a month.\n\nYou might say that thinking about something isn\u2019t the same as doing it. But the evidence suggests that employees do act on their thoughts. On the basis of a survey of 2,000 employees, for example, LinkedIn reports that those who feel their skills are not being used well are ten times more likely to be looking for a new job.\n\nFaced with odds like this, it\u2019s clear that CIOs need to think seriously about whether they are making the most of the talent they already employ.